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Now that the buildings of the former Army of Japan are facing the prospect of demolition, there is increasing demand that their historical importance be assessed and that ways be found to reuse or preserve them. Today, as the example of early Meiji barracks built in the middle of 1870's, only three still exist in Sendai, Shibata and Nagoya. The Army's architectural system has not yet been sufﬁciently studied. So far, the architectural prototype for Army buildings has not been found, but we can describe the architectural planning process and the prototypes both for garrisons, which were built on the site of ancient castles, and for barracks, which mixed the traditional Japanese carpentry and the positive introduction of new techniques from Europe. This paper intends to clarify the planning method for military garrisons and the early stages of the barracks construction process by way of ﬁeld surveys and archival documents. Keywords: army; military base; barracks; prototype; Shibata 1. Introduction (Ref.2). This is also the case for the Army's military Buildings of the former Japanese Army still exist in buildings and headquarters as well as the Navy's brick many places in Japan, but their value has not yet been structures by Yatani, A (Ref.3) and Nakajima, H (Ref.4) sufficiently considered. Now that they are facing the etc. But the barracks and architecture built on local prospect of being demolished, there are demands that Army bases have not been sufﬁciently studied. their architecture be historically evaluated and that The author has investigated the remaining facilities ways be found to preserve them. and buildings of the Ground and Air Self-Defense The Japanese Cultural Agency has been interested F orces s ince 2004 and found approximately five in these heritage buildings related to the Army and hundred properties built before 1925. More than warfare and has undertaken a comprehensive survey. hundred of them correspond to the criteria of Army In 2002, the Agency identified around 50 properties, heritage buildings. In this paper, the author will focus such as the first daiba, a fortified island constructed on the early stage of the Army, extracting the early for the purpose of defending Tokyo-Edo (Minato-ku, examples of military architecture in Japan. Tokyo), or the Asahikawa Kaikosha Veterans Club, The Seinan Civil War of 1877 was the turning point th run by the 7 Army Division (Asahikawa, Hokkaido) in the Japanese military system, because afterwards, the (Fig.1.). However, this was far fewer than the actual introduction of Western military strategy and weapons number of remaining Army heritage buildings, because marked the beginning of a radical modernization process. Military facilities from that time, for example, the Agency only looked at the buildings sold to local suggest both a continuation from the Edo era and the governments or to the private sector after the Second introduction of European planning policy. World War. As a result, most of the historical buildings More than twenty buildings still exist from the ﬁrst belonging to the Self Defense Forces were not counted. decade of the formation of the Army (1868-1877). Both the Army engineers' architectural system and A m o n g t h e m t h r e e a r e b a r r a c k s w h i l e o n e i s a the Western-style buildings built at the beginning regimental headquarters. Two of the barracks belong of the Meiji era have been widely studied by many to the Ground Self-Defense Force and the other two researchers like Nakamori,T (Ref.1) or Fujimori,T buildings belong to public institutions. T h i s p a p e r i n t e n d s t o c l a r i f y t h e m i l i t a r y b a s e *Contact Author: Michiko Maejima planning method and the construction process for Doctoral Student, Keio University in Japan, and Conservatoire Japanese Army barracks at the very early stage by National des Arts et Métiers in France way of field surveys (Ref.5) and through archival Tel: +33-617-569-162 documents (Ref.6). In this context, barracks means the Email: firstname.lastname@example.org standardized building to house draftees, forming the ( Received April 8, 2008 ; accepted July 2, 2008 ) core of the military base. Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering/November 2008/161 155 garrison, which consisted of two regiments (Chindai was replaced by the Division in 1888). By 1873 (Meiji 6), there were six Chindai, headquartered in Tokyo, Sendai, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima and Kumamoto, and fourteen regiments based all over Japan (Fig.2.). The systematic construction of military facilities also started at this time. 2.2 The Castle Abolition Act At the beginning, a major consideration in the construction of military bases was how to make use of the castles that had expressed military power under the shogunate government. Initially, their ownership h a d b e e n t r a n s f e r r e d f r o m e a c h l o r d t o t h e n e w government. Then, after the feudal han (clan) system was abolished and prefectures were created, they came under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of War. The new government identiﬁed the number of castles with strategic value and high maintenance costs, and Fig.1. Location of Military Heritage Buildings Selected in 1873 (Meiji 6), the government issued the Castle by the Cultural Agency Abolition Act (Jokaku-haiki-rei) to demolish the others. As a result, 144 castles were demolished and 2. The Construction of Military Bases and Barracks only 58 survived. Most of the garrisons for the initial at the Beginning of Meiji Era fourteen regiments were built on castle sites. The 2.1 The placement of Chindai only exceptions were Tokyo, the capital, and Aomori, The modern military system in Japan started at which was not a castle city. It is noteworthy that even the point when the shogunate government and each afterwards, when the new regiments were set up, many han (clan) adopted European and American military of their garrisons came to be built in castle compounds. practices and promoted the purchase of modern arms A regiment's move into the castle compound was a during the disturbances at the end of shogunate period rather joyous occasion for the local community. The in the second half the nineteenth century. Whereas enormous cost of maintaining clan facilities could not previously, the military system had been decentralized be covered by the local governments, which suffered under the feudal daimyo (lord)-samurai relationship, f r o m t h e h a r s h f i n a n c i a l c o n d i t i o n s i m m e d i a t e l y by the opening of Meiji era in 1868, it had shifted after the Meiji Restoration. The private sector was to a centralized national army, organized by military also unable to manage, although in certain cases the district. This process began with the creation of the castles were sold to private organizations. As soon Ministry of War (Hyobu-sho) in 1869 (Meiji 2), which as the castles were ordered to be demolished, several was then divided into the Department of the Army and outstanding figures of the foreign services and the the Department of the Navy in 1872 (Meiji 5). The military appealed for their preservation. Such actions basis of organization in the Army was the Chindai, or had a big influence on the Army's decision-making process. In Nagoya and Himeji, as a matter of fact, preservationist pressure successfully ensured that these castles' original beauty was conserved under the military land-use system. 2.3 Military Land Use of Castles Nagoya Castle In the case of Nagoya for example, the governor of the Nagoya han immediately decided after the Restoration to demolish the buildings because they cost so much to administer and maintain, but Max von Brandt, a minister from the German Embassy, insisted upon their preservation, because he so admired the castle's beauty. In addition, Col. Nakamura Shigetou, of the Corps of Engineers, made a strong case for preservation, based on the castle's architectural aesthetics. As a result, it was decided to use Nagoya Castle as a military facility a n d t h e t h i r d g a r r i s o n o f t h e To k y o C h i n d a i w a s Fig.2. Location of Divisions (the First Six Chindai (Garrisons) Correspond the Divisions in 1888) assigned here in 1871 (Meiji 4). Nagoya Chindai was 156 JAABE vol.7 no.2 November 2008 Michiko Maejima rd Fig.3. Placement of the 3 Division in Nagoya Castle th established two years later as home to the 6 Infantry Regiment and the necessary army facilities were built th successively in the castle and surroundings. Avoiding Fig.4. Placement of the 10 Regiment in Himeji Castle the Honmaru, the main part of a Japanese castle that contains the dungeon, the barracks were built in the The ﬁeld survey revealed that the castle's old wooden materials had been reused for their roof structure, with Ninomaru (second compound) and the Sannomaru the hand written marks of the carpenters still visible ( t h i r d o r r e s i d e n c e c o m p o u n d ) . T h e C h i n d a i th on their surfaces. Moreover, one of the towers stands headquarters was located in the Sannomaru and the 6 within the barracks compound. It is certain that the Infantry Regiment barracks were set in the Ninomaru. castle's exterior site was carefully integrated for the The barracks that was dismantled and reconstructed barracks. (Fig.5. and 6.) in the Meiji-mura open-air museum used to be here (Fig.3.). Himeji Castle Himeji Castle was to be auctioned off immediately after the Meiji Restoration, but no private organization w a s a b l e t o r a i s e t h e e x t r e m e l y h i g h c o s t f o r d i s m a n t l e m e n t a n d t h e a u c t i o n e n d e d i n f a i l u r e . Meanwhile, Col. Nakamura's opinion letter moved up the Army chain of command, which decided to retain Himeji Castle as a military facility. In 1874 (Meiji th 7), the Osaka Chindai moved in, replacing the 10 st Infantry Regiment (formerly the 1 Infantry Battalion). (Fig.4.). Shibata Castle The case of Shibata Castle was rather different from the above-mentioned examples of Nagoya and Himeji. It was much smaller and its main buildings should have been demolished by the Castle Abolition Act. In 1874 (Meiji 7), however, the third battalion of the Tokyo Chindai was formed here and soon after the th castle was assigned to the 16 Infantry Regiment. One of this regiment's barracks still exists on the original th site, where it is known as the "White Wall Barracks Fig.5. Placement of the 16 Infantry Regiment in Shibata Castle (Shirakabe-heisha)." The dating of this building will be discussed later, but it is clearly one of the oldest 3. Planning of Army Bases th 3.1 Garrison Components Army facilities in Japan, together with the 4 Infantry t h The infantry was the kernel of the Army. Chindai Regiment barracks in Sendai and the 10 Infantry were initially organized with infantry, artillery, cavalry, Regiment's barracks in Nagoya, mentioned above. JAABE vol.7 no.2 November 2008 Michiko Maejima 157 The site is a rectangle covering approximately 7.8 ha. The front gate is situated on the southwest side, while the large-scale buildings (the regimental headquarters, the barracks, etc.) are placed in such a way to surround the rectangular yard. Buildings were numbered from 1 to 10, with numbers 1 to 8 formed by four semidetached long barracks housing two companies each. The regimental headquarters (No. 9) and the uniform warehouse (No. 10) line up alongside the southwest road. A long covered corridor attached t o t h e f r o n t o f e a c h b u i l d i n g f o r m s a c o n t i n u o u s breezeway in the snowy winter season. A military hospital was located in the southeast (lower right) corner. The headquarters building has been relocated to the new site by the Self-Defense Forces after the Second Fig.6. Detailed View of Shibata Base (Ref.7) World War and is no longer in its original position. Another preserved document called the "View of the engineer, transport and other units. In 1876 (Meiji 9), t h Barracks of the 5 Infantry Regiment in Aomori" the entire Army comprised 16 infantry regiments, 7 (Fig.8.) with the date of 1900 (Meiji 33) explains the artillery battalions, 2 cavalry battalions, 2 engineer way in which the base was used. An adjacent site with battalions, 2 platoons and one quartermaster company. the ofﬁcers' mess was added behind the original site, Military base planning was organized around the apparently after 1888. regiment, which in the case of the infantry comprised 3.3 Views of Regiment Bases about 3000 drafted soldiers. There are a number of surviving drawings and To w a r d t h e m i d d l e o f M e i j i e r a , a r e g i m e n t a l illustrations of Army barracks. Although they do not g a r r i s o n c o n s i s t e d o f a r e g i m e n t a l h e a d q u a r t e r s , accurately indicate site plans, it is still possible to see barracks, an officers' mess, an enlisted ranks' mess, the form of the barracks from a bird's-eye view. a m m u n i t i o n d e p o t s a s w e l l a s o t h e r a d d i t i o n a l buildings such as stables and warehouses. The ofﬁcers' mess and enlisted ranks' mess did not exist in the ﬁrst stage of the military base planning. 3.2 "Plan of the Aomori Base" T h e r e a r e f e w r e m a i n i n g a r c h i t e c t u r a l p l a n s indicating barracks layout and planning, since most of them were destroyed at the end of World War II. The "Plan of the Aomori Base of the Second Military District", which is conserved in the Defense Center of the Self-Defense Forces in Aomori, is therefore a th rare document. It shows the layout of the 5 Infantry Regiment's garrison in Aomori, colored by ink and w i t h t h e s c a l e o f 1 / 6 0 0 . T h e t i t l e o f " t h e S e c o n d Military District" indicates that this plan dates back to the Chindai period before the establishment of the th Divisions of 1888 (Meiji 21). Fig.8. "View of the Barracks of the 5 Infantry Regiment in Aomori" (Ref.9) Many of these views were drawn after the middle of the Meiji era for travel guides. The Army bases were considered to be landmarks because of their new and enlightened ideas. In the early stages, most of the regimental bases were built within castle compounds so that the view, combined with watchtowers, stone walls and moats, expressed the notion of a new urban landscape in the heart of a city. Also, comparison of these drawings helps to reveal the barracks planning method in the Chindai period. Fig.7. "Plan of the Aomori Base of the Second Military Of the sixteen regiments set up at the beginning of District" (Ref.8) 158 JAABE vol.7 no.2 November 2008 Michiko Maejima th Fig.9. "The Complete View of the 4 Infantry Regiment" Fig.10. The Shibata Barracks Today (Ref.10) B a r r a c k s c o n s t r u c t i o n s t a r t e d a s s o o n a s t h e the Meiji era, three are depicted in surviving bird's- modernized military system was set up in Japan. This th eye drawings: the "View of the Barracks of the 5 is evidenced by the archives of the former Ministry of Infantry Regiment in Aomori" as mentioned above; the War conserved in the Defense Center (Ref.11). It is th th "Complete View of the 4 Infantry Regiment" (Sendai) assumed that the barracks of the 4 Infantry Regiment th and the "Detailed View of the Shibata Base". What is in Sendai and of the 6 Infantry Regiment in Nagoya common to all three is the fact that the major buildings were built in 1873 (Meiji 6), the same year the base form a rectangular enclosure on a rectangular site. was built. When these buildings were dismantled for In Sendai's case, the rectangle is formed of 13 large- relocation, the date was confirmed by the preserved scale buildings. Although they are not named, they carpenter's marks. On the other hand, the date of th doubtlessly followed the same site plan as Aomori. construction for the 16 Infantry Regiment's barracks What is different is that the base entrance is off from in Shibata is uncertain, although the City History of the central axis, losing the symmetry (Fig.9.). Shibata suggested the possibility of both 1873 (Meiji 6) On the other hand, the "Detailed View of the Shibata and 1874 (Meiji 7). Base" shows 10 large-scale buildings forming the H o w e v e r, t h e n e w l y f o u n d M i n i s t r y o f Wa r rectangle around the inner yard. The presence of a documents suggest a series of Army construction continuous breezeway connecting each building as projects in the Niigata region. At first, the Chindai in Aomori suggests that the region is snowy. The soldiers had used the old buildings of the Shibata preserved White Wall Barracks is located in the back C a s t l e . B u t i n 1 8 7 1 ( M e i j i 4 ) , a n e w b a s e w a s of the inner yard (Fig.6.). constructed in Yorii village near Niigata, so that the The comparative study of the above-mentioned three soldiers were moved there as the First Section of the bases shows that the basic garrison plan was in the Tokyo Chindai (Niigata Base). Two years later, as soon shape of a rectangle surrounding the inner yard. This as the military district (gunkanku/shikanku) system was is the prototype of the Army base at the beginning of introduced, the Niigata Base became the Third Shikan- the Meiji era. The inner yard spans about 1 ha. After ku but with the establishment of the regiment system a rd the Army was reorganized into the Division system in year later, it was transformed into the 3 Regiment and 1888, the bases were expanded with the construction then moved southward to Takasaki. To replace it, the th of other necessary facilities. newly established 16 Infantry Regiment was formed in Shibata in order to defend the Niigata region. As a 4. The Architectural Features of Barracks result, the Niigata Base was abandoned. An old report 4.1 The Shibata Barrack said that the buildings there were badly damaged Of the early stage military barracks, only three (Ref.12). The description of the construction of the buildings still exist: Sendai, Shibata and Nagoya. Two Shibata Base appears in several documents from 1874 of them have been relocated: the Nagoya barracks is (Meiji 7). Accordingly, the Shibata Base is judged to now in the Meiji-Mura open-air museum, while the have been built in 1874 (Meiji 7) (Ref.13). Sendai barracks has been relocated to the municipal The three existing barracks in Sendai, Nagoya and park. On the other hand, the Shibata barracks, known Shibata were therefore constructed in 1873-74, making as the White Wall Barracks, still exists on the original them the oldest Army heritage buildings in Japan. site within the compound of Shibata Castle. It is used Parallel to other building types such as schools and city by the Ground Self-Defense Force as an exhibition halls, military facilities represent an important sector hall. (Fig.10.) of Westernized architecture in the early Meiji era. The JAABE vol.7 no.2 November 2008 Michiko Maejima 159 unique appearance of the White Wall Barracks with its plaster wall reminds us of the remains of the old castle. It is a two-story wooden construction with tile rooﬁng and four entrances located on the front and back sides with gable roofed porches. On the front façade, the breezeway (gangi) protects from snow and rain. The st Fig.12. The Shibata Barracks 1 Floor Plan (Today, Ref.18) building stands on a base of Ooya-stone with timber construction on top. The front façade is ﬁnished with plaster while the back façade and the northern and southern standings are weatherboard. The thick timbers from Shibata Castle were reused for the roof structure as mentioned before. 4.2 The Transformation of Barracks nd Fig.13. The Shibata Barracks 2 Floor Plan (Original) The current appearance of the White Wall Barracks in Shibata is not the original. The "Detailed View of the Shibata Base" shows this building with fewer front windows, although the basic features, such as the two- story wooden construction, tile roofing and white plaster ﬁnishing, are the same. This "View" dates back nd to 1896 (Meiji 29), so the old building must have been Fig.14. The Shibata Barracks 2 Floor Plan (Today, Ref.18) altered to a great extent some time after this year. According to Army archives, the military buildings "engineers" (i.e. military architects) varied from two were subject to constant alteration or transformation. to eighteen but the average number was around six. In fact, some newly revealed documents found in the In the preceding period, the military facility planning Defense Center relate the process of building and and designing process was not as systematic. Fewer altering barracks in various places in Japan. The record engineers took charge of each architectural project. of 1873 (Meiji 6) describes the problem of using glass One of the crucial concerns in barracks planning windows in a certain barracks. It says that the new was hygiene. In 1894 (Meiji 27), for example, at the glazed windows let in too much sunlight. As a solution, time of the First Sino-Japanese War, 12,000 of the total 17,000 deaths were caused by beriberi, while the Army issued a letter saying that white cotton the plague outbreak in Taiwan prompted the Japanese cloth should be hung on the windows to avoid strong sunlight (Ref.14). Prior to this, military buildings did government to promulgate the Sanitary Law. Under its not have any glass windows or curtains. terms, ¥208,611 was allocated in 1895 (Meiji 28) to In another case in Kumamoto in 1871-72 (Meiji the sterilization of barracks all over Japan. (Ref.20) 4-5), a stove was installed in the barracks and the T h e r a d i c a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f t h e W h i t e Wa l l soldiers were taught how to use it (Ref.15). In 1875 Barracks corresponds to this period. The multiplication (Meiji 8), they were further instructed to pay attention of windows and the change in corridor layout were the to cleaning the chimney (Ref.16). As a result, however, result of the new law. An investigation of the barracks a strong draft blew down the chimney into the rooms allows us to reconstitute the building's original state (Figs.11.-14.). so often that in 1892 (Meiji 25), the soldiers had to stop using stoves and started using hibachi, the traditional Japanese charcoal heating pod (Ref.17). These articles 5. Conclusion illustrate the trial and error process at the early stage of I n t h e f o r m a t i o n p e r i o d o f t h e J a p a n e s e A r m y, barracks construction. garrisons were primarily built inside existing castle The Army's architectural section has been studied c o m p o u n d s . T h e b a r r a c k s , w h i c h e a c h h o u s e d a by T. Nakamori (Ref.19), who notes that during the company, were placed in the form of a rectangle government organization reform of 1890 (Meiji 23), surrounding the inner yard. This planning system the section was uniﬁed as the "Temporary Architectural was established in the mid-1870's, when the regiment Department" in the Ministry of the Army. Between system was introduced. Additional facilities were added later. 1892 (Meiji 25) and 1914 (Taisho 3), the number of T h e b a r r a c k s p l a n n i n g p r i n c i p l e w a s b a s e d o n standardization from the very beginning of the Army, with wooden, two-story rectangular buildings of 15m wide, tile roofing, front and back entrances, porches with a curved gable roof over the entrance and wooden sash windows. Based on this prototype, necessary works were added according to local requirements, st Fig.11. The Shibata Barracks 1 Floor Plan (Original) such as breezeways in the snowy regions or plaster 160 JAABE vol.7 no.2 November 2008 Michiko Maejima 11) JACAR (Japan Center for Asian Historical Records of National wall ﬁnishings, as seen in Shibata. Archives) Ref. A03023113400 (1873), pp.1-2. In the ﬁrst stage, the barracks plan was characterized 12) JACAR Ref. A03023111900 (1871-1875), pp.1-2. by the presence of crossing passages on the ground 13) JACAR Ref. C04025663400 (1874), pp.1-2. ﬂoor and central corridors on both the ground and ﬁrst 14) JACAR Ref. A03023113400 (1873), pp.1-2. floors. It should be noted that around 1890, hygiene 15) JACAR Ref.A03023207800 (1871-1875), pp.1-2. 16) JACAR Ref. A03023143300 (1875), pp.1-2. concerns led to major sanitation-related structural 17) JACAR Ref. C07050402500 (1892), pp.1-3. upgrades, such as ventilation systems, openings and 18) Figs.12. and 14 correspond the East part of the building which cleaning systems. exists today. Like any type of building, military architecture also 19) Nakamori, T. (1987) "A Transition of the Architectural Section of the Army Department in the Early Meiji Era" in Summaries depends on the skillful techniques of local carpenters. of technical papers of Annual Meeting Architectural Institute Sometimes they recycled building materials from of Japan. F, Urban planning, building economics and housing dismantled castles. problems, history and theory of architecture, Vol. 1987 (19870825), The prototype of the regimental bases and barracks pp.747-748. emerged in the 1870's, then developed through trial 20) JACAR Ref. A01200819900 (1895), pp.1-2. and error into the much more functional and healthy Figs.3., 4 and 5 were made by Yoshiyuki Sato and Figs.11. and 13 by facility toward the middle of the Meiji era. Naoto Takizawa. Figs.12. and 14 were made by author. References 1) Nakamori, T. (2006) "A Study on the Organization of Architectural Section of the Ministry of Army in the Early Showa Period" in Summaries of technical papers of Annual Meeting Architectural Institute of Japan, F-2, History and theory of architecture, Vol. 2006(20060731) pp.549-550. 2) Fujimori,T, (1979) "ON THE TOKYO PLANNING BY ENDE & BOCKMANN AT MEIJI ERA Part 5" in Transactions of the Architectural Institute of Japan, No.281 (19790730) pp.173-180. 3) Yatani, A. (1999) "The architecture characteristic of the brick building in the old navy center Maizuru : the case ad the brick warehouse group of Maizuru" in Summaries of technical papers of Annual Meeting Architectural Institute of Japan. F-2, History and theory of architecture, Vol.19990730) pp.413-414. 4) Nakajima, H., Shimizu, K., Mizuno, R. and Yumoto K. (2007) "Study on the Hemi water puriﬁcation plant in Yokosuka Naval Station : Research of Industrial Technology Heritage in Yokosuka" in Summarize of technical papers of Annual Meeting Institute of Japan. F-2, History and theory of architecture, Vol.2007(20070731) pp.421-422. 5) Nagoya: 2003/8/9, Kanazawa: 2003/9/8, Shibata: 2003/11/14, 2005/08/01, Sendai: 2003/12/30. 6) The archives of the former Army, particularly the architectural plans, were destroyed as the Second World War ended. However, there remain a few surviving documents in the Defense Center at the Ministry of Defense, the memorial centers of local Self- Defense Force bases and local libraries. 7) 'Detailed View of Shibata Base' 「新発田歩兵第十六聯隊之眞 , 1896, Meiji 29), conserved at the Self-Defense Force base 景」 ( in Shibata. 8) 'Plan of the Aomori Base of the Second Military District' 「第二軍 (around 1887, Meiji 20), conserved 管青森営庁歩兵聯隊之図」 at the Self-Defense Force base in Aomori. th 9) 'View of the Barracks of the 5 Infantry Regiment in Aomori' 「青 (1900, Meiji 33), conserved at the 森歩兵第五聯隊兵営之真図」 Self-Defense Force base in Aomori. th 10) 'The Complete View of the 4 Infantry Regiment' 「歩兵第四聯 (year unknown), conserved in the Historical Folklore 隊仝圖」 Center in Sendai. JAABE vol.7 no.2 November 2008 Michiko Maejima 161
Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering – Taylor & Francis
Published: Nov 1, 2008
Keywords: army; military base; barracks; prototype; Shibata
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